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“Rio Abajo Rio” Solo Exhibition by Lauren Napolitano

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Saturday, April 3, 2021 - 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm | Cost: FREE
Heron Arts | 7 Heron St, San Francisco, CA

Event Details

Heron Arts is pleased to announce the solo exhibition Rio Abajo Rio by Lauren Napolitano. The opening reception for Rio Abajo Rio is Saturday, April 3rd, 2021, from 3-8 pm and is free and open to the public. The exhibition will be on view at Heron Arts until May 8, 2021.

Rio Abajo Rio is a contemplation and exploration of how the inspirations of travel and collaboration impact one’s view of their heritage. The viewer can expect to see a variety of influences and collaborations from the artist. The exhibition will explore the impact that Napolitano’s travels and collaboration have had on her art practice. Rio Abajo Rio will touch on many of the mediums she explores – such as painting, ceramic, sculpture, film, and installation. Process and medium are each equally important as the influences and collaborations that inspire them.

Rio Abajo Rio explores Napolitano’s Mexican heritage in depth, through a variety of processes which are inspired by both ancestry and travel. The patterns Napolitano creates by hand are a meditative and thoughtful reference. She takes a contemporary approach to Mexican Folk Art by adapting traditional designs with her refined linework and signature color palate. Napolitano looks to her Mexican heritage for symbols of rejuvenation, life and death, love and sorrow, earth and sky – all of which are common recurring themes found in her paintings. She is heavily influenced by the natural world and the synergistic relationship between humans. Napolitano explores this relationship in the lens of all the cultures she has experienced and with her heritage in mind.

Rio Abajo Rio will shed light on the many places Napolitano has traveled in the last ten years. Many of the images in her paintings contain cross-references from unique travel experiences. For instance, Napolitano was deeply inspired by extensive time spent in Nepal. The viewer can expect to see these inspirations transform in her paintings, symbolized by radial patterns with metallic accents referencing the ancient temples seen in the streets of Khatmandu, Talavera inspired motifs from her time in Mexico, Turkish florals from working in a Turkish rug shop, and folky florals inspired by long walks through Barcelona and Madrid. Napolitano says, “In a time where we have all been forced to stay home and be uncomfortably close with our partners and ourselves…it feels nice to revisit these places in my mind and pull from that well.”

Another inspiration for Rio Abajo Rio is collaboration and the teachings that each collaborator has brought to her practice. Napolitano is currently working with Samantha Heligman of Settle Ceramics on a collection of pieces reflective of her Mexican heritage. Lauren and Crystal Allen have collaborated on wall-mounted and sculptural metal pieces that will transform the installation space at Heron Arts. The metal wall mounted and sculptural work will draw upon references from Napolitano’s imagery and pattern work. Barrett Moore and Napolitano will be creating a short film together based on Rio Abajo Rio and her love of folk art, patina, and collaboration.

Lauren Napolitano is a self-taught contemporary folk artist currently based in Austin, TX. Born in San Jose, CA, Napolitano still considers the Bay Area her home, having lived in Oakland until 2013. Napolitano has shown extensively throughout the United States (Major US cities: NYC, LA, Denver, Miami (Art Basel), New Orleans, San Francisco, & Austin) and internationally (Mexico, Spain, England, Portugal, Nepal). Notable collaborations with Burton snowboards, Creator of POW! WOW! Nepal, a mural commission at World Trade Center, and 1xRun.

Heron Arts

Heron Arts was founded in 2013 by Mark Slee, an active member of San Francisco’s creative community, organizing events since the mid-2000s. He is joined in 2015 by director Tova Lobatz, who is pursuing ambitious programming that encompasses installations and experiential, interactive environments, alongside traditional gallery exhibitions. Collectively they hope to provide San Francisco with a fresh outlook on contemporary beauty in the arts.

Disclaimer: Please double check event information with the event organizer as events can be canceled, details can change after they are added to our calendar, and errors do occur.

Cost: FREE
Categories: *Top Pick*, Art & Museums, In Person
Venue: Heron Arts
Address: 7 Heron St, San Francisco, CA